Shrek first lived in a garbage dump near a human village called Wart Creek. At one time it was thought that he lived with his parents and kept rotting fish in his bedroom. Here are more of my early concepts for the first Shrek film, circa 1996/97.
Most of us, if not all of us, were used to designing for flat 2D animation. It seemed to me that our gouache paintings, delightful as they were, with their brush marks and paper textures, were not going to get us near to the CG look that Shrek was going to have so I started building models, photographing them and working with them in Photoshop. Using Photoshop was a fairly new concept in those days though I was by no means the first to do so.